New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) is a regional, pre-professional arts training center that offers students intensive instruction in several disciplines, including jazz. NOCCA was founded in 1973, and some of its distinguished alumni include Terrence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty and Jonathon Batiste just to name a few.

For the 4th straight year, The Billy Strayhorn Foundation honored the recipient of this jazz education award in the JEN host city with a $500 stipend to help with upcoming program activities in the name of Billy Strayhorn. Every year, a remarkable 95-98% of NOCCA graduates go on to college and conservatory programs across the country.

Congratulations to all the programs at NOCCA, including the great work being done by Jazz Program Chair Michael Pellera and his staff with the students in the jazz program. We wish them nothing but continued success!

Pictured above: Students from the NOCCA jazz program and Mr. Michael Pellera receiving their award from Strayhorn family member Galen Demus.